What happened to Richard Lincoln when he went for a pee

In a complex unravelling of a gun-point drama, police dropped firearms charges after an armed police callout, but later found more things to pin on a licensed gun owner because they thought he was mentally unsound and would not accept his explanation.

In a case which has implications for thousands of legally licensed gun owners, police were in Court accused of:

  • Incompetence.
  • Tampering with a firearm.
  • Impropriety.
  • Recklessness.
  • Unreasonableness.
  • Destroying a shotgun.
  • Failing to make complete disclosure of material to the defendant.
  • Giving flawed evidence.
  • Insufficiency of evidence.
  • Failing to prepare a brief of evidence for a police arms officer.
  • Breaking into a man’s home to discover what they claimed they thought was a “body” was in fact a pile of clothes.
  • Photographing mail.
  • Failing to explain the disappearance of a magazine from a seized rifle.
  • Not knowing gun law.
  • Presenting a case described by the presiding Judge as “a changing canvas.”
  • And of pulling last minute rabbits out of hats.

If that is not enough, the man charged by police has started civil proceedings against them over the whole affair.

Whatever the outcome, whether the charges are proved or thrown out, it is expected there will be appeals to the High Court and even the Court of Appeal.

Jock Anderson


What Is It About?

Freelance journalist Jock Anderson, who has had a lifetime covering courts and law-related news, went to Ashburton district court in June to listen in.

This is his report.

The Defendant…

Richard Lincoln (56) of Timaru, in the final stages of completing a law degree at Canterbury University, and with a special interest in firearms law.

Mr Lincoln is a licensed firearms owner who holds an E Category endorsement on his normal firearms licence permitting him to own specified military style semi-automatic firearms.

In 2009/2010 – in what is known as the “thumbhole case” – he successfully challenged a police bid to reclassify some A Category firearms as military-style semi-automatics requiring special E Category licence endorsements, vetting and security.

Mr Lincoln obtained a landmark declaration from Justice Jillian Mallon in the High Court at Palmerston North that his Heckler & Koch SL8 semi-automatic rifle was not a military style semi-automatic rifle (MSSA), as wrongly interpreted by the police, and therefore was not subject to an E Category licence endorsement requirement.

Mr Lincoln has also been involved in other cases involving the interpretation of firearms legislation.

The Legal Players…

Judge Joanna Maze, resident district court judge for Timaru and Ashburton.

Timaru Crown Solicitor Andrew McRae, representing the police.

Christchurch lawyers Michael Starling and Natalie Wham, representing Mr Lincoln.

The Charges…

Richard Lincoln, (56), of Timaru, is charged with:

Intentionally obstructing Constable James Manning in the execution of his duty. Penalty – up to three months jail or a $2,000 fine;

Having cannabis plant in his possession. Penalty – up to three months jail or a $500 fine;

Unlawfully in possession of a restricted weapon – a Hatsan Escort 12g MSSA shotgun. Penalty – up to three years jail, or a $4,000 fine;

Unlawfully in possession of restricted weapon – a DPMS Panther Arms A-15 .223 MSSA semi-automatic rifle. Penalty – up to three years jail, or a $4,000 fine.

At a two-day hearing in Ashburton Court in June, Mr Lincoln pleaded Not Guilty to all charges.

Original Charges Withdrawn…

H&K SL8

After being in the pipeline for 21 months, charges alleging the unlawful carrying and unlawful possession of an MSSA rifle – a Heckler & Koch SL8 semi-automatic rifle – were withdraw by the Crown on the morning of the first day of the hearing on June 19.

It is understood Crown Law has already conceded the issues in relation to the withdrawn charges in civil proceedings Mr Lincoln has lodged against the police.

The Police…

No fewer than 12 police officers plus an armourer and arms officer, had their hands on the case at some stage.

How It Began…

On September 17, 2015, Mr Lincoln was driving from his home in Timaru to a Christchurch gunsmith on a pre-arranged mission to have some work done on his Heckler & Koch SL8 .223 semi-automatic rifle.

This is the rifle Mr Lincoln was originally charged in relation to but those charges were withdrawn at the beginning of the hearing on June 19.

The SL8, with an empty 5 round magazine in it, was resting in the passenger foot well of Mr Lincoln’s Suzuki vehicle. The rifle and magazine were not loaded and there was no ammunition in the vehicle or on Mr Lincoln.

About 10 am Mr Lincoln stopped at public toilets in Ashburton for a pee.

He took the SL8 from his car, slung it over his shoulder and – keeping it as discreet and unobtrusive as possible – went into the toilet, came out, put the SL8 back in his car and proceeded on his way.

He was seen by a woman in Timaru, where he got fuel, and one in Ashburton, who said they were concerned that someone should be carrying a rifle in the street and both phoned the police. One woman made reference to WINZ shooting murders in Ashburton a year earlier.

Mr Lincoln was pulled over by armed police just north of Dunsandel.

He was ordered out of his car at gun point and made to kneel at the side of the road with his hands above his head.

Jim Manning

The Police Witnesses At The Scene…

Constable James Manning, from Lincoln, and Constable Matthew William Tom Savage, from Rolleston, were first on the scene. Constable Nicholas Lewis, from Rolleston, joined them quickly, armed with a Glock 17 pistol and a Bushmaster M4 .223 semi-automatic rifle.

Constable Savage covered Mr Lincoln, checked his car and saw the SL8, while Constable Manning questioned him. Constable Lewis trained his rifle on the scene.

In evidence Constable Manning said he asked Mr Lincoln why he had a firearm in his car. He said Mr Lincoln told him he was a licensed firearms owner, was entitled to have the rifle in his car – and asked “What’s the problem?”

Mr Lincoln said he had to carry the rifle when he went to the toilet because he was required to by the Arms Act. Mr Lincoln said he was obliged to carry the rifle with him and not leave it unattended in his car.

Constable Manning said Lincoln did not appear to “make much sense” and kept repeating what he said.

Constable Manning: “I told him he could not carry a rifle in a public toilet…He became aggressive and was in my face…He said I didn’t know what I was talking about…He was confrontational…”

Mr Lincoln was told he was under arrest for obstruction, turned around, handcuffed, put in a police car and taken to Ashburton police station.

Constable Manning claimed Constable Savage saw a “loaded” firearm with a magazine in it.

Constable Manning: “I was looking for an explanation from Lincoln…It all happened quickly…My job was to keep control of Lincoln…He could have had other weapons on him…He was not behaving like a normal person…”

Cross-examined by Mr Starling, Constable Manning said he could not be 100% sure how he knew the SL8 was loaded.

Told by Mr Starling the SL8 was not loaded and there was no ammunition in the car, Constable Manning said he was not aware if it was loaded. “With the magazine in it it could be loaded or not loaded, I presumed it was loaded, I thought Constable Savage said it was loaded…”

Constable Manning, who admitted he had not read the Arms Regulations, said he did not accept Mr Lincoln’s explanation that he was legally entitled to do what he did.  “I wanted an explanation for his behaviour but I did not accept his explanation…”

“He gave me an explanation but I was not interested in the section of law he was quoting… He was aggressive and would not keep space between us…He moved towards me…He was behaving irrationally and I did not have control of him…He was getting angry and confrontational…He kept quoting Arms Regs that he had to carry the rifle…”

Asked by Mr Starling if talking to the police and quoting sections of the Arms Act was irrational, Constable Manning said “it defies logic to take a firearm to a public toilet…”

Constable Savage said he got a call to say a member of public had seen a male going to the toilet with a machine gun over his shoulder…

He said when the police stopped him Mr Lincoln complied with all their instructions.

He said Mr Lincoln was getting argumentative and agitated, his voice raised and he was saying he had the right to carry the rifle.

He said Constable Lewis, who arrived a short time later, checked the rifle and put it in back seat of a police car.

As Constable Savage attempted to describe where everyone was standing at the roadside, Judge Maze told him: “No science, no pseudo-science, no ‘bubble’, just show me where you were – focus on your memory…”

“Listen carefully to the questions and answer them,” Judge Maze told Constable Savage.

Constable Savage agreed with Mr Starling that Mr Lincoln was saying what his legal right was.

He said Mr Lincoln was a threat, being “disorderly and obstructing us from keeping us safe, the public safe and my staff safe…He was arrested for disorderly behaviour – his conduct allowed for that – if not, obstructing police…”

Constable Lewis, armed with a Glock 17 pistol and a Bushmaster M4 rifle, took photos of the SL8, removed it from Mr Lincoln’s car, cleared it to see if it was empty and that no other firearms or ammunition were located. He found Timaru arms officer John Wainwright’s business card in Mr Lincoln’s car.

Constable Lewis described hearing “a robust conversation.”

He said he did not hear Mr Lincoln try to explain the law on firearms. “I did not tell anyone the rifle was loaded…It was not loaded and there was no ammunition in the car…I understood Mr Lincoln was arrested for disorderly behaviour but I did not see any disorderly because my focus was elsewhere…”

More Armed Police Turned Out

Hugh O’Reilly

Ashburton policeman Constable Hugh O’Reilly, and another officer, armed themselves with an M4 rifle and a Glock pistol and headed for Dunsandel, but got a call to say the situation  was under control and returned to Ashburton.

At Ashburton police station Mr Lincoln repeatedly asked Constable O’Reilly why he was arrested. “I told him he was seen carrying what appeared to be an MSSA…He refused to sign for his property…I interviewed him on video and returned him to the cells…”

Constable O’Reilly produced the video interview and it was played in court.

In it Mr Lincoln is seen sitting in a chair calmly and rationally answering Constable O’Reilly’s questions. Mr Lincoln says he is unclear what the basis of his arrest is.

He said an officer assaulted him and he was unlawfully detained. He said he had an endorsement for the MSSA which applied to the seized firearm.

He said he was taking it to a gunsmith at Yaldhurst for some work to be done on it, and then to a law lecture.

Mr Lincoln said he believed he was required to keep the firearm on me at all times, taking it into the toilet and then putting it back in his car.

He said he had an endorsement for the SL8, but Constable O’Reilly told him the police could not reconcile his endorsement from their records.

Mr Lincoln said he did not obstruct the police but said the police would be facing consequences in the High Court “and they would be serious.”

He said the rifle was used for recreational purposes and was not a weapon because it was not used to shoot people. “Police have weapons and you shoot people…”

He said he had not broken the law in any way and his detention was unlawful.

Constable O’Reilly told Mr Lincoln – who was “agitated and fixated” – that police were going to seize other firearms from his safe in Timaru, and Mr Lincoln said he would voluntarily give access to his safe. He was bailed on the condition he voluntarily surrender his firearms to police.

“I was concerned about his behaviour…We asked for a mental health assessment to see if he was at risk of harming himself or others…Mental health services were called…”

No medical evidence was called at trial regarding Mr Lincoln’s mental state.

Cross examined by Mr Starling, Constable O’Reilly said Mr Lincoln asked on a number of occasions what the basis of the obstruction was. “I was told…I can’t recall, it is 20 months ago…I was told he had obstructed one of the officers…”

[Before hearing from two expert firearms witnesses Judge Maze closed the court to the public for a discussion about photographs taken by the police during searches of Mr Lincoln’s home and what photographs appeared – or did not appear – in an evidential photo book. In that discussion Judge Maze made a reference to police “incompetency.]

What The Experts Said…

Police armourer Robert Ngamoki giving evidence in another case

Senior police armourer Robert Ngamoki said he took delivery in Wellington, in January 2016, of a DPMS rifle and shotgun seized from Mr Lincoln’s home.

In Mr Ngamoki’s opinion the DPMS had a free standing pistol grip and was an MSSA.

The shotgun’s extended magazine indicated it could hold two and three quarter inch, three inch and three and a half inch long shells. Mr Ngamoki said it could hold eight two and a half inch rounds, making it an MSSA because the magazine could hold more than seven rounds.

He said the shotgun magazine held seven three inch shells but with the shorter shells it constituted an MSSA. “If sold and capable of holding more than seven rounds it would be an MSSA.”

Mr Ngamoki loaded the shotgun with eight rounds of two and three quarter inch shells, fired it and one exploded in the breach, damaging the trigger mechanism of the shotgun. “I believe it was a defective round…”

Judge Maze: “So the shotgun is now damaged as a result of pressing the trigger on a defective round?”

Mr Ngamoki: “Yes.”

Judge Maze: “How much would the shotgun cost?”

Mr Ngamoki: “I don’t know.”

Where Is The Magazine That Changed Shape?

Shown a photograph in the police evidence booklet of the DPMS rifle with a small magazine in it, Mr Ngamoki said he was given the rifle along with a bigger 30 round magazine and he had never seen a smaller magazine.

Mr Starling suggested police misconduct in not giving their expert the magazine shown in the photo booklet.

“Where is that magazine?” Judge Maze asked.

“The expert witness does not see the DPMS rifle in the shape the police photographed it…We need to see the magazine, so let’s have it,” Judge Maze told Crown Prosecutor McRae.

“Is there anything else to be brought out of the Ashburton police station…Any more rabbits in the hat out there, Mr McRae?”

Mr Ngamoki said part of the definition of an MSSA was that a free standing pistol grip was secured to the rifle by one screw at one point.

The grip on Mr Lincoln’s DPMS was secured by two screws at two points, which Mr Starling argued meant it was not a one screw grip within the legal definition of a pistol grip.

Mr Ngamoki said he had never seen it done before. “It’s the pistol grip itself, not whether it has one or two screws…We anticipated somebody would try this…I do not agree it is a modification in an attempt to comply with the Arms Act.”

Judge Maze asked Mr Ngamoki why a rifle with a pistol grip needed further licence endorsement.

“Why seize on the pistol grip? Is it something to do with Aramoana? What is the potential harm that the endorsement is designed to reduce? What greater harm can you do with an MSSA that you can’t do with another rifle,” Judge Maze asked.

“You can do a lot of harm with a bigger magazine,” Mr Ngamoki said.

“And that’s it?” asked the judge.

[Judge Maze’s question about Aramoana was a reference to the 1990 shooting massacre, when David Gray killed 13 people including a local police sergeant, before being shot dead himself by police. The deadliest criminal shooting in New Zealand history lead to amendments to the Arms S Act, including the definition of military-style semi-automatic firearms. Judge Maze was referred to Mr Lincoln’s 2009/2010 High Court case in which Justice Mallon canvassed the public and political debate surrounding the introduction of the MSSA category of firearm.]

Defence firearms expert Rodney Woods took issue with Mr Ngamoki’s evidence and Mr Ngamoki’s view that fixing the pistol grip by two screws made no difference to the DPMS being an MSSA.

Mr Woods said the extended shotgun magazine was designed to hold seven three inch rounds but it was possible to get an eighth short round in if it was pushed hard enough.

He said the legislation did not take into account the actual length of round. “You can create a lot of offenders because they put wrong cartridge in the gun…The norm for the shotgun is three inch shells, so seven would fit.”

Mr Woods said the 30-round magazines were not connected to the DPMS and were therefore irrelevant.

On the second day of the hearing, after concerns raised by Mr Lincoln’s lawyer about undisclosed evidential material, Crown Prosecutor McRae told Judge Maze some issues about material not disclosed to the defence had to be resolved.

Judge Maze questioned Mr McRae as to whether if he could indicate that disclosure was complete.

“This is not new to the Ashburton constabulary, who are on notice before over late or incomplete disclosure…In this case both Ashburton and Timaru constabulary…Disclosure permits the defendant to have the material to complete his defence,” the judge said.

Mr Starling said a book of police photographs had been disclosed, but that at lunchtime that day and – after a search by the Crown – the Crown gave him two pages of previously undisclosed photographs taken in Mr Lincoln’s garage. There were also five additional pages of photographs taken by police inside Mr Lincoln’s house.

Mr Starling expressed serious concerns over the way in which police conducted themselves, including entering Mr Lincoln’s home three time, taking photographs on two visits but not the third, seizing firearms and other items and sending the DPMS rifle and long magazines to Mr Ngamoki.

Judge Struggling To Find Fairness…

Judge Maze said it was not a case of domestic violence. “He (Mr Lincoln) was a licenced owner…They (police) say they were seizing his firearms as a safety point…I am struggling with a sense of fairness here…”

“One of the firearms was tampered with and presented to an expert…What’s the chance of an average district court judge picking up on that?” she said.

She said a magazine which was fundamental to the definition of an MSSA – and which she had still to decide on – was involved.

Judge Maze also questioned Mr McRae for an explanation for the delay in producing some photographs, which prompted Mr Starling to accuse the prosecution of failing to comply with a very basic element of disclosure.

Who Took What Photographs…

Timaru police sergeant Gregory Sutherland went to Mr Lincoln’s home, where he looked through the kitchen window and saw what looked like a body on floor in front of the fire.

“I thought I could have been looking at a human body and could be in need of assistance,” he said. He took a photograph outside and one inside after he broke a window to get into house.

He radioed to the police who had Mr Lincoln and Mr Lincoln said it was a pile of clothes. Sgt Sutherland still wanted to see if it was a body, climbed in the window and found a pile of clothes.

He found mail in the mailbox addressed to Mr Lincoln, which he photographed.

Sgt Sutherland said he had received a call from Sgt Richard Scott and as a result formed the belief Mr Lincoln was not in a fit mental state to own firearms…He said Sgt Scott told him about Mr Lincoln’s state after his arrest.

“Mr Lincoln did not appear in a fit state of mind…Sgt Scott said he felt Mr Lincoln was not fit and proper person to hold firearms…

Sgt Sutherland then talked to Inspector Cory Parnell at Timaru and “he concurred with the decision that Mr Lincoln was not behaving like a responsible firearms owner and his firearms had to be removed…”

He returned to Mr Lincoln’s home to remove firearms and ammunition before Mr Lincoln returned to Timaru. “Sgt Scott and I thought it better to remove them before Mr Lincoln got back…Sgt Scott told me to expect a shotgun under the bed and firearms around the house…”

Sgt Sutherland entered the house a second time, through a broken bathroom window and found a sturdy gun safe which he could not open in the laundry/bathroom.

He found an unsecured pump action shotgun under the head of the bed in the master bedroom with four 12g buckshot rounds in the magazine.

He found a waist belt with shotgun rounds, some .223 ammunition in a wardrobe, and a loaded .22 magazine in the living room.

He found more ammunition in a gun safe in a house bus on the property.

He searched a locked garage and found a fridge not working, in what he described as a setup similar to growing cannabis. He found a pipe, a lighter and 12 gms of cannabis in a bag.

Rather than do overtime, Sgt Sutherland handed the matter to Sgt Nerida Manson to take over from there.

Cross-examined by Mr Starling as to why he broke in, Sgt Sutherland said he wanted to see if anything untoward had happened. “I had a duty to ensure nothing untoward had happened…I will change legal duty to moral duty…”

He said he looked through the window to “make sure no violence had occurred there and that everything was peaceful before I left…”

Mr Starling also questioned whether Sgt Sutherland had legal authority to search Mr Lincoln’s mailbox and photograph his mail.

Sgt Sutherland said he conducted a second search after Sgt Scott told him a loaded shotgun could be found under a bed, unsecure.

He denied seeing a shotgun in the bedroom on his first visit. He said he was told to expect it.

He said Sgt Scott could only know if Mr Lincoln told him. “At some point Mr Lincoln has told the police that a loaded shotgun is by the bed…”

Mr Starling told the Court there was no disclosure from Sgt Scott. He said if Mr Lincoln told police about a shotgun in the bedroom there was no documentation to support it – “nothing written down…”

To which Judge Maze said: “Sgt Scott needs to be able to explain his part…”

The Court was told Sgt Scott would not be giving evidence because of a medical event.

Sgt Sutherland said the only reason for the second search was to get firearms and ammunition, “for reasons of Mr Lincoln’s mental health and to secure firearms…”

Asked about the cannabis in the fridge, Sgt Sutherland said if he was the officer in charge of case he would have sent the cannabis to the DSIR cannabis for testing – which is what he said the officer in charge would normally do.

Sgt. Nerida Manson

Sergeant Nerida Manson said Mr Lincoln phoned her and said he would hand over his firearms at his house but at his house he said there was an illegal search and he was revoking his consent and would be filming police.

Sgt Manson said Mr Lincoln asked under what authority the search was being made and firearms seized. “I told him the Search and Surveillance Act and his mental wellbeing – he was a not fit and proper person to hold firearms…”

She said she suspected Mr Lincoln was not of sound mind to be in possession of firearms. “He began ranting about the broken window…I told him police would be paying for it…He appeared unreasonable when I acknowledged we had broken it…He showed me the gun safe and continued to be semi-obstructive…”

“He kept saying police were going for a skate for this…”

“He was ranting about police breaking into his home…He was delaying us and kept filming us with his phone…I told him to put the camera down…He would not accept why police entered his home…He said he had no issue with us but would be making a complaint about being dragged out of his car and having a gun stuck in his face…”

Sgt Manson said Mr Lincoln revoked his implied consent for police to enter his address.

She told Mr Starling that Mr Lincoln was being “obstructing” by filming police. “His filming had become too much…I never said he was obstructive…People often film us, it’s not uncommon…”

Asked by Mr Starling why carrying a firearm in a public place is unlawful, Sgt Manson said they had to be secured in a vehicle. “If I got it wrong, I got it wrong…I may have made an error in law…”

“In the media there is a lot of concern and fear around firearms, hysteria, it could cause panic…A person of sound mind would not do this…”

“I formed the belief that Mr Lincoln was not of sound mind because of the information I received from other officers…Along with public concern over firearms…”

Sgt Manson said she did not know that the firearms surrender was a condition of Mr Lincoln’s bail. “I would have searched his home if I had known it was a bail condition because he would have been in breach of his bail if he withdrew his consent…”

Asked by Mr Starling if she was proceeding on an error at that time, Sgt Manson said she  was told Mr Lincoln was on bail with bail conditions…”I don’t recall asking what the bail conditions were…It was an oversight not to tell Mr Lincoln we were searching under Search and Surveillance…”

Former constable Kyle Wightman, who said he was on a year’s leave without pay, said he found various ammunition in a locked wardrobe and an E Category rifle stock in a house bus.

On a second visit, with Sgt Manson, to conduct a Search and Surveillance search, he was wearing a Glock 17 pistol and Mr Lincoln asked what law they able to search under. “He was argumentative…He was warned about obstruction but he was still delaying us and ranting…”

Cross-examined, Mr Wightman said he was told the police were executing a search warrant. “But I made a mistake, having read my statement through…That’s an error on my part…”

Mr Wightman admitted he had omitted to say in his statement that he found .22, .308, .270 and .272 ammunition in the locked safe.

He admitted there was no record of .308 ammunition recorded on the police property sheets of items found on the property. He said there was no record of .308 or .272 ammunition. “Probably my error…”

He said Sgt Manson must have told him Mr Lincoln was bailed on condition he surrender his firearms.

Mr Wightman told Judge Maze he could not confirm if the DPMS Panther rifle had a magazine in it or not. He said he took the firearms to the Timaru police station, secured them and gave them to Sgt Paul Hampton the station exhibits officer.

Judge Maze: “Would an exhibits officer record the Panther with a magazine or not?”

“I would record that,” Mr Wightman said.

Constable Kieran Parsons, the exhibits officer at Mr Lincoln’s home, said he found an unsecure pump action shotgun in the master bedroom. He said he did not know anything about whether Mr Wightman recorded .308 and .272 ammunition in his notebook.

White Plastic Supermarket Bags

Judge Maze asked Constable Parsons about plastic bags with various exhibits in them – including a white supermarket-style bag containing several small rifle magazines.

“That’s not what we would normally use…We have proper evidence bags…The 30-round magazines are in normal evidence bags, as is the cannabis,” Constable Parsons said.

John Wainwright

Before Timaru arms officer John Wainwright gave his evidence, Crown Prosecutor McRae asked for a significant section of his brief of evidence to be removed because it was no longer relevant – relating mainly to the SL8 charges which had been dropped.

Prompting this response from Judge Maze: “Why after 18 months does this man not have a brief of evidence??? You have five minutes to produce a brief of evidence, Mr McRae…”

After Mr McRae quickly wrote out a new brief of evidence, which Mr Starling was not “OK” with, so after another adjournment, it was Mr Wainwright’s turn.

He said he determined the DPMS Panther and the Hatsan shotgun were MSSAs, saying Mr Lincoln had never advised him he sought E Category endorsement for them.

Cross-examined by Mr Starling, Mr Wainwright said when the Panther came to him from Sgt Manson the day after it was seized it had the magazine removed. “I would have been surprised if the magazine was still in it…”

He said there was small magazines in the white plastic bag and 30-round magazines found loose.

He said he sent the DPMS Panther and the shotgun to Mr Ngamoki in January 2016 and the magazines separately in April.

“I wanted to strengthen our conclusion the Panther was an MSSA by sending the 30-round magazines to armourer…”

Mr Wainwright said he loaded the shotgun with two and three quarter inch shells, but that was not in his brief of evidence, which was prepared by a detective.

He said he got eight rounds into the shotgun magazine. “I wondered about it so I decided to test if I could…”

Judge Maze: “You did not fire the shotgun?”

Mr Wainwright: “I’m glad I didn’t fire it, it got damaged…”

In a discussion with Judge Maze about free standing pistol grips, Mr Wainwright said a pistol grip is defined as structurally connected to the firearm at one point.

Insufficient Evidence And Police Impropriety…

The police case now concluded, Mr Starling submitted there was no case to answer on any of the charges.

“There is insufficient evidence to establish an obstruction charge…What is the obstruction?”

“There is no evidence that Mr Lincoln did not have MSSA endorsement for the two firearms.

“There is evidence he has an E Cat endorsement but no evidence that the endorsement does not cover them, if in fact, they are MSSAs…”

“On the cannabis charge the witness could not say if material is cannabis and contains cannabis resin, so could not say it is cannabis…It was not tested…”

Asking for a finding of impropriety, Mr Starling said Sgt Sutherland was in breach of the Search and Surveillance Act because he had no power to enter Mr Lincoln’s home and gave no adequate reason for making his search.

He sought a finding of impropriety in relation to finding material said to be cannabis.

“The police did not need to do an invasive search. They could have waited for Mr Lincoln to arrive. They only had to wait and he would have been there.”

“There is no evidence Mr Lincoln has a mental illness and it was not necessary to avoid apprehended danger…”

He also asked for a finding of impropriety in relation to the third search, when police refused Mr Lincoln the right to film them. “There was no danger to avoid, and no urgency…”

Again claiming police impropriety and seeking the exclusion of evidence from all three searches, he said there were three breaches in one day by a number of police.

“They were reckless and did not have reasonable grounds to search…”Mr Starling said.

Judge Maze said she would give her decision on July 3.


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As much at home writing editorials as being the subject of them, Cam has won awards, including the Canon Media Award for his work on the Len Brown/Bevan Chuang story. When he’s not creating the news, he tends to be in it, with protagonists using the courts, media and social media to deliver financial as well as death threats.

They say that news is something that someone, somewhere, wants kept quiet. Cam Slater doesn’t do quiet and, as a result, he is a polarising, controversial but highly effective journalist who takes no prisoners.

He is fearless in his pursuit of a story.

Love him or loathe him, you can’t ignore him.

To read Cam’s previous articles click on his name in blue.

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